A large Mumuye ancestor figure, Nigeria
height 34 1/4in
Morton Dimondstein, Los Angeles
On the high degree of stylistic diversity of Mumuye figures, Arnold Rubin writes: "some were used as oracles, others in connection with healing, and still others reinforced the status of important elders as embodiments of vaguely conceived tutelary spirits. Sometimes, one figure was employed in two or more of these capacities. A particular function cannot be correlated with size, style, or other formal attributes" (Vogel, 1981:155-58).